Friday, May 30, 2014

Lunch, Farewell, and More Lunch

I've done a pretty poor job of chronicling the past few days.  Things have been so crazy busy getting ready for graduation that I haven't even thought about taking out my phone for pictures.

I did manage to grab a couple photos of kiddos on the go.

 Father Robert received a generous donation from two parishioners who told him to "treat" the 8th grade to something special.  We thought ice cream, but the amount given would have covered much more than ice cream.  So, Father came up with the idea of treating us all to lunch at Dog House Grill!  YUM!!!

Of course, I forgot to take any photos of the kids inside with Father.  We were waiting for one of our drivers to come back for us when I snapped this photo.  I only thought about it because the kids were taking their own photos with their phones. (I have no idea what the girls are doing with their hand.  Strange.)

Lunch was delicious, as always at this place.  I had the tri tip salad drenched in ranch!  So full.

 After school I took this lovely young lady out for a Jamba Juice and pedicures.  Her parents bought my donation at the school dinner dance.  Little One wanted strawberries painted on her toes.  They turned out very cute.  I stuck with plain pink!  It's been a while since I've had a pedicure, so it was relaxing and fun.

Today was the 8th grade farewell.  It is the school's way of saying goodbye to the 8th grade class before their graduation tomorrow.  Being the 8th grade teacher, there is a LOT of planning that has to be done to help these two days run smoothly.  One day down, one to go.

As a surprise, the mom of one of the students provided the four 8th grade teachers with gifts.  I got the biggest bouquet of flowers and a gift card to a nail salon!  Looks like another pedicure is in my future!  I love the vase and the flowers.  They are gracing my kitchen island, and they make me happy to see them.  It was an unexpected and much appreciated gift.

I wish I had gotten a picture of the luncheon set up by the 7th grade teacher.  She did an AMAZING job of decorating the Hall for the event.  The theme was, "Race to Your Future," and everything was done in checkerboard race flags and Cars motif.  Over the top adorable.  I don't know how she thinks of the creative stuff that she does.  It is simply perfect.

And now I need to finish a few things before tomorrow's graduation.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014


After a very long and tiring day of graduation practice, the 8th grade met at Roger Rocka's Dinner Theater to enjoy dinner and watch The Pirates of Penzance.

We had 21 kids and nine adults sitting at three great tables near the front of the stage.  These were some of the kiddos at my table.  I sort of forgot to take photos today with as busy as it got.

Oh Eddie.  There will be times next year when I think back and laugh and hope you are doing well!

Like always, the show at Roger Rocka's was amazing.  We had a spectacular time.  I'm finishing up details on the graduation program before collapsing into bed.

One more hectic day of practice and then Farewell Friday and Graduation Saturday.  Time moves quickly.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

I Have a Hard Job...if you count relaxing by a pool hard!

Today was the 8th grade field trip to the Island Water Park.  I only had 16 kids out of 22 attend.  Last week, the numbers attending were even smaller, but that's another story.  Let's just say the principal gave them a bit of incentive to show up, swim, and act happy!

Honestly, I'm not sure why almost half the class wasn't interested in the water park.  Who is going to pass up a day of no schoolwork, relaxing, playing, and no stress?  Not me!  Turns out we had a good time.

I picked a spot near the baby pool and set up camp.  I figured if I got too hot I could wade in the shallow water.  It never came to that.  It was also a nice day with only four schools and around 300 kids total.  I never felt overwhelmed by people or kids.

I think the hat and glasses with my hair pulled back make me look like a boy or a bug.  Oh well.  My goal was to not get burned.  We all need a goal.  I succeeded in my goal.  Still pale as a ghost.

Midway through the day I switched chairs and sunglasses.  Here I am lounging.  Rough life.  The kids pretty much scattered and only came back to base camp for food or sunscreen.  The rest of the time I was on my own.

My shady view in the lounge chair.

I had my iPad, my book, my phone, and peace!

I think I'll just settle back and watch the world float by.  It was hot, but staying under the trees kept it manageable.

Just before driving back to school.  It is always so weird to me that 1. I have a car that can hold 7 people and 2. there were 7 people in my car!  Six teenagers in the car is something different!

I think the trip was a success.  I had two kids tell me that they had more fun than they thought they would!  Yay!  Like I told them, it was never my intention to torture them into a day off from school!

Tomorrow is practice for graduation.  When they ask how long we practice, the answer is, "Until Mrs. Forcey cries!"  There is usually a moment when they all process into the church, take their spots, and I just can't imagine that they are almost done and ready for high school.  Sniff.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Cleaning and Organizing Fool

I'm cleaning and organizing in baby steps.  Since I tend to be an "all or nothing" type of personality, I'm trying REALLY hard to get control of my house in small steps.  It may not look like much in photos, but I see a big difference that is helping to keep me motivated to do more!

I've been working on my office space 15 minutes at a time for a week now.  The stack with all the yellow envelopes is to shred.  That alone will make a big difference.  The white stack in the middle is summer school stuff that I'll go through for this summer.  I'm excited to be able to use my office again.  Previously it has been the dumping ground for items that have no home.  NO MORE!  Things need a home!

The bed has been made each day (whether by me or Eric).  I love how tidy it makes the room look.  The little pile of blankets on the bed is currently in the washing machine.  I'll fold the blanket at the foot of the bed.

My dresser.  It still looks messy, but it is a hundred times better.  It needs a desperate dusting as well.  But the fact that I can see the wood that needs dusting is a big improvement!

My nightstand.  I'm trying to decide if I like the vases there.  Not sure.  Maybe they need a flower or two.  I don't know.  I'll give it time.

The dining room where items are waiting to go to new homes: Grandma's house, Aunt Tiffy's house, thrift stores.  Once the items are gone, the dining room will look nice again!

Pretty clean living room.  I'm also going through uniforms for school that were given to me by friends.  Some of the stuff won't be worn for several years, but I have no problem storing clothes until the kids are big enough to wear them.  I LOVE friends who give us clothes that I won't have to purchase in the future.

Garage is not perfect, but I cleaned up the bags of stuff that were lying around under the wall racks.  I can see the floor again!

I use FlyLady's concept of 15 minutes at a time.  Messes weren't made overnight, and they won't be fixed overnight.  If I pull everything out of a closet at once, I'll get discouraged and end up leaving the mess.  If I work on one shelf at a time, I can see the purpose and keep going.

Small changes making me happy.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Sunday Organizing

I spent a portion of today organizing the kids clothes, dresser, and closet.  But before I get into that, here's a picture of Hudson from yesterday.  I couldn't tell you the last time he took a nap.  That's what soccer and swimming will do to a kid!  Unfortunately, he wasn't able to go to sleep very well last night.

We went to church this morning and then home.  I have been trying to go through clothes, clothes and more clothes.  Where do all these clothes come from?  My goal is to really pair down the amount of things I keep in their dresser.  The boys wear the same four things anyhow, so why have a bunch of stuff taking up space?

I'm not quite done, but it's getting there.

That's pretty much it for today.

Saturday, May 24, 2014


Last night we went to see the Fresno Fuego soccer game play the San Jose Earthquakes.  The Fuego play at the Chuckchansi baseball stadium.  It's weird to see the field cornered off for soccer.

One minion and one Brazil fan.

Coach Tom is out there somewhere.  Tom's kids are our kids' friends.  They go to our school.  Tom also owns the indoor soccer arena where the kids LOVE to play.

The game was fun.  It was a beautiful night.  I took a sweatshirt thinking it would get cool when the sun went down.  It was breezy and nice, but never cold.

What a little minion he is!  Fuego won 2-0.  We also got mini soccer balls for getting there early.

We woke up early this morning so Hudson could go play indoor soccer for Coach Tom.  It turned out that he needed Evan to stay to play on the older kid house team.  We said sure.  The kids stayed there, and Tom brought them home after Wendy's and a swimming stop at the grandparent's house.  My kids were thrilled!

Eric and I ate pizza and took naps while they were gone.  It turned out to be a pleasant and unexpected non-kid day for a few hours!

Friday, May 23, 2014

82-Year-Old Lungs

A few weeks ago I had a follow up appointment with my allergist.  I thought it was a regular, routine kind of thing.  And it was, until the doctor suggested I do a follow up breathing test because my numbers were low the last time I did this particular test.

I was REALLY sick just before Christmas and ended up in the doctor's office receiving two breathing treatments, antibiotics, etc.  Who knows?  Maybe my lungs haven't fully recovered since then!

I followed the nurse down the hall and did the breathing test.  By the way, I suck at these tests.  You are supposed to breathe in a deep breath and then blow out as many candles on the computer screen as you can.  I can never blow them all out.

The nurse made the comment that my numbers were really low.  Okay.  How low?  She points to the screen where it shows that my lungs are that of an 82-year-old woman!  I think I screamed!  I have never even taken so much as a puff of a cigarette, I have bouts of healthy activity, and I've never tested positive for asthma.

The doctor explained that he was going to send me to a specialist for a full pulmonology function test.  Yay.

That test was today.

First I had to have a blood draw.  You can see where they poked me.  I cried.  I don't ever mean to cry, but the tears just start streaming down my face.  I felt the poke, but it didn't really hurt.  Once the blood draw was over I was fine.

They were checking the hemoglobin in my blood making sure that my blood cells carry the oxygen where it is needed.  The numbers checked fine.

Then I went upstairs with Jere, the respiratory therapist, where we proceeded to do a series of six different breathing tests.  I had to wrap my lips around a seal and breathe in different ways.  Sometimes it was a deep breath where I was blowing out as hard as I could.  Sometimes it was panting.  Sometimes it was holding my breath.  That one was hard.

At one point, Jere locked me in the little booth so he could control the pressure.  That was also strange and a bit unpleasant, but nothing too traumatizing.

After all that, he gave me an albuteral treatment (asthma medicine meant to open the airways) and then we had to repeat some of the tests to see if the medicine helped.  It didn't.  Instead it just makes me super jittery and loopy.  I don't like treatments.

By the end of the session, I was pretty tired but still jittery from the medicine.  All in all, it wasn't too bad.  Hopefully I'll be able to get the results quickly to see if there are any serious issues with my lungs.

And for a super sweet and nice surprise, Eric dropped by school to deliver my Mother's Day present!  I love it!  I also love that he visited at school to give it to me.  This little necklace traveled a long way.  I forget which South American country it came from, but I think it is unique and special!

A picture of Hudson last night right before he started soccer practice.

We are going to a pro soccer game tonight.  Should be fun.  I am looking forward to the World Cup this year, especially since I am such a pro at soccer now!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Prayer Rocks

Father Robert is celebrating his 10th anniversary of priesthood.  He is a wonderful leader and teacher for the OLPH Church and School, so we are honoring him tomorrow.  My partner teacher and I decided to create a junior high gift of prayer rocks.  Saw it on Pinterest.  Here's our version.

Each color rock is for a different type of prayer: healing, love, encouragement, and tough times.  With more time, I think I would have glazed over the rocks with a seal.  They are chipping a bit, but this will have to do.  In any case, it was made with love.

Blocking out the big forehead with this picture.  I wanted to show off my Disneyland T-shirt from two weeks ago.  Next year is going to be red.  I'm already planning the colors until Evan is in 8th grade.  Only four years to go for that one!  Between Jog-a-thon, Academic Decathlon, Disneyland, and 8th grade class, I have enough OLPH gear to last me for three weeks!

I am so stinking proud of this kid!  He just won a full ride scholarship to his high school!  That makes three years in a row that someone from our school has won this award.

He came up to me right after morning prayer holding the envelope and grinning from ear to ear.  He said, "I have some news!"  I barely let him finish before screaming and jumping and hooping and hollering and hugging.  All the other teachers and kids were heading into their classrooms and had to stop to see what was wrong with Mrs. Forcey!  I couldn't help it, I was just soooooo excited for him!

I'm not sure what is up with my own to kids.  Haven't seen much of them today.  They have soccer practice, and I need to count and submit payroll before tomorrow.

I am missing school tomorrow morning because I have a full workup pulmonologist appointment scheduled.  A recent breathing test said I had the lungs of an 82-year-old, so my doctor wants to rule out any problems.  He mentioned something about restricted lungs.  Hopefully, everything is fine.  I'm sure I'll write about the appointment tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

New Recipe

My mom gave me two new recipe books for Mother's Day.  I tried out the cheesy enchilada recipe last night.  Super easy prep to put this together.

I got Dump Dinners and Dump Desserts.

Ugh, my forehead looks huge!  I have new contacts, but I can't figure out which ones are for the right eye and which are for the left.  We bought them from a wholesaler, and they didn't label the boxes like Costco does!  Woops!  In the meantime, at least I like my glasses that I got in February.

I really liked watching Dancing With the Stars this season and adored Meryl and Maks.  Oh my goodness they are an amazing couple.  I don't think this photo is of them.  The finale was on last night so I took a super amazing picture of the tv.

A quick 20 minutes later the enchiladas were ready.  I ate at least three.  I was hungry.  They were really good.  Considering the one and only time I tried to make authentic enchiladas was a total disaster, these were easy and tasty!

Thank you, Mom!

Teacher Box Lunch...AKA My Favorite Day!

Each year during Teacher Appreciation Week, the teachers take one day to appreciate each other.  We draw names and create a lunch and place setting for each other.  It is my FAVORITE thing that we do as a teacher group at my school!

This is the lunch I created for Gaby.  She is new this year, so she didn't know what to expect.  She is also getting married in December.  A ready made theme!

It's a little hard to see, but I used doilies as the place mat, white plate, rose petals, little white cups for snacks, a feather boa and princess crown to wear, and a candle.  She once told me her favorite food is potatoes, so I got her a baked potato with chicken, cheese, ranch and bacon from a local restaurant.  That along with salad, cake, fruit, chips, and raspberry lemonade rounded out the fun.

Some of the lunches created by other teachers.  Giants baseball is big in these parts.

Super cute "box" lunch!

AJ won the prize for receiving the most decorated place setting.  Sister Monica made this for him!  He also got a shirt and a DVD!

Picnic setting made by Stacey for Martha.

Sr. Isabel made this for Cortney.  She plans to add vodka to the strawberry lemonade later! Ha!

Sister Isabel made this darling setting for me!  Rainbow plate and bowl, red placemat, roses, Subway sandwich, Diet Coke, Caesar salad, apple pie and flower plate.  I love it all!

Wendy's beach theme.

Mr. Dodd's golf lunch.

More Giants.  People and their baseball fetishes.  No thank you!

Martha made this setting for Sister Monica.  She had to move the box and flowers during lunch because she didn't want to look at herself while she was eating!

And more Giants.

I love the idea of using a tray for the place mat!

Pretty green theme.

My office looks a little better today!  While teachers were enjoying their lunches, the 8th graders had an all day retreat with Father Robert at the convent garden.  I had to set up and provide lunch.  Subway sandwiches, cookies, chips, water, and soda.  The kids being gone all day gave me time to work on sorting through the piles on my desk.  That pink binder is for graduation.  Next big project.

Lastly, I've been getting up slightly earlier than normal and getting right to work making my bed, cleaning a bit, etc.  One plus to doing this is having a little time for some morning snuggles.  That doesn't happen if I am running around screaming like a lunatic.  Not saying that has ever happened...but sadly it has.

Hudson and I enjoyed a bit of Good Morning America with our few minutes of relaxing this morning.  I've got stacks of underwear on top of my dresser.  I'm cleaning out a drawer.  However, the timer went off so I stopped!  I'll finish that task tomorrow.  I didn't realize how much underwear I had until it was all stacked on TOP of the dresser instead of inside the drawer.  And there's more still in the drawer to pull out!  Hee hee.  Apparently I do not need to shop for that particular item of clothing.

I don't think this child is ever going to leave me.  He's my little love bug.

I walked out of the house and completely forgot to put the pork roast in the crock pot.  Luckily it is an at home night, so I'll readjust my menu and throw something together later.